• Eliminating Cultural Biases in Pursuit of High-Quality Education
    NEWS

    Eliminating Cultural Biases in Pursuit of High-Quality Education

    August 2018

    Researchers at WCW used the power of data to investigate and eliminate cultural biases in an afterschool program assessment tool, ensuring that results will accurately indicate the quality level of youth programs.

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  • Celebrate 50 Years of Social Change with Us
    EVENT

    Celebrate 50 Years of Social Change with Us

    September 27, 2018

    Barbara Newell, Ph.D., former president of Wellesley College, will kick start our Lunchtime Seminar Series with a special conversation on her motivation for founding the Centers and her hopes for its future. Join us or watch online.

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  • Summer Reading with Women's Review of Books
    NEWS

    Summer Reading with Women's Review of Books

    Summer 2018

    The new issue looks at a mix of summer fiction and academic, gender-focused works.

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  • Quality Summer Learning in Action
    BLOG

    Quality Summer Learning in Action

    June 2018

    Elizabeth Starr, M.Ed., of WCW's National Institute on Out-of-School Time reflects on the creative, supportive environment she witnessed at a choreography summer camp program.

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The

Wellesley Centers for Women 

is a premier women- and gender-focused, social-change oriented research-and-action institute at Wellesley College.
Our mission is to advance gender equality, social justice, and human wellbeing through high quality research, theory, and action programs.

PROJECTS

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A World That Is Good for Women Is Good for Everyone TM

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Wellesley Centers for Women

Media and Identity Study

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Ongoing since 2011
Studies

The purpose of this online nationwide survey study is to understand how different types of media (i.e. social, technological, televised) impact young people’s sense of social identities, including racial/ethnic, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, political attitudes, and civic engagement.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Open Circle

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Ongoing since 1987
Social and Emotional Learning: Kindergarten - Grade 5

Open Circle provides evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) curriculum and professional development for elementary schools.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Growth and Scaling Grants Program for Social and Emotional Learning Program Providers

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Ongoing since 2013
Social and Emotional Learning

Funding will support refining plans for growing and scaling Open Circle to serve large school districts across the U.S.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Gratitude Project

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Ongoing since 2015
Open Circle

Open Circle will develop, pilot, and assess new gratitude components for its student curriculum and teacher professional development program.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Commentary: Let’s Talk about #Sex

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Research & Action Report, Spring/Summer 2016

By Jennifer Grossman Ph.D.

Think about it—in many of our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, there was little family conversation about sex. Often, for religious and cultural reasons, family communication about sex was considered taboo. Many teens did not know what sex was or how to protect themselves from pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This has changed in many families, as cultural expectations have shifted and there is growing recognition that teenparent sexuality communication can protect teens from early pregnancy and STIs. Many parents also have reflected on the potentially harmful effects that ignorance about sexuality had on their own teenage years and lived experiences. Parents now often commit to talking with their children about sex, breaking from traditions of family silence from past generations, as a way to support their children’s healthy development.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Commentary with Jennifer Grossman

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Let’s Talk about #Sex by Jennifer Grossman, Ph.D.

Think about it—in many of our parents’ and grandparents’ generations, there was little family conversation about sex. Often, for religious and cultural reasons, family communication about sex was considered taboo. Many teens did not know what sex was or how to protect themselves from pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections (STIs). This has changed in many families, as cultural expectations have shifted and there is growing recognition that teenparent sexuality communication can protect teens from early pregnancy and STIs. Many parents also have reflected on the potentially harmful effects that ignorance about sexuality had on their own teenage years and lived experiences. Parents now often commit to talking with their children about sex, breaking from traditions of family silence from past generations, as a way to support their children’s healthy development.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Recommendations: Quality Out-of-School Time

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by Ellen Gannett, M.Ed. and Elizabeth Starr, M.Ed., National Institute on Out-of-School Time


Quality Out-of-School Time Begins with Investment in Staff

As expectations for high-quality afterschool and outof-school time (OST) programs continue to rise, a skilled, stable and committed OST workforce is critically important. Yet supports for youth workers, and resulting staff quality, remain uneven at best due in part to a highly fragmented landscape. Compensation remains stagnant and opportunities for professional advancement and public recognition remain practically non-existent.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Recommended Reading for the Next President

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The March April 2016 issue of Women’s Review of Books (WRB) was quite different from the publication’s usual offering. Amy Hoffman, M.F.A., editor-in-chief, included a special section featuring WRB writers and some other favorite feminists sharing recommendations of what they thought the next U.S. president should be reading, in preparation for taking office. Additionally, Cartoon Editor Jennifer Camper illustrated the special section and added brevity with her artwork. The list that resulted is fascinating—and could probably keep even the most well-read person productively busy for the entire next presidential term. But it wasn’t quite what Hoffman expected.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Recommendations: Preventing Depression in Young People

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By Tracy R.G. Gladstone, Ph.D., WCW associate director and senior research scientist, director of the Robert S. and Grace W. Stone Primary Prevention Initiatives


Depression is Prevalent but Prevention Programs Are Limited

According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide—it is the most common psychiatric disorder in the U.S., and is particularly common among lower income populations, and among women beginning in adolescence. The average age of onset for depression is 15, and about 20 percent of all people will have experienced an episode of depression by the end of adolescence. Youth depression is associated with a host of negative and long-term consequences, including poorer school performance, difficult peer and family relationships, increased risk of substance abuse, and poorer functional outcomes in adulthood. Of particular note is the connection between youth depression and suicide. Although not all people who commit suicide were depressed at the time, depression and suicidal behavior are indeed linked. Suicide is a tremendous problem in the U.S. and is the second leading cause of death among American adolescents.

Wellesley Centers for Women

Q&A with April Pattavina, Ph.D. and Linda M. Williams, Ph.D.

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Research & Action Report, Fall/Winter 2015

By April Pattavina, Ph.D. and Linda M. Williams, Ph.D.

The Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative

The Justice and Gender-Based Violence Research Initiative, led by Co-Directors Linda M. Williams, Ph.D., and April Pattavina, Ph.D., senior research scientists, was recently launched at the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW). Longtime followers of the Centers may recognize Williams, who was director of research at the Stone Center at WCW from 1996 to 2005. In that role, she led the Navy Family Study, a comprehensive approach to understanding the factors that affect successful and unsuccessful outcomes for Navy families involved with the family advocacy office, as well as the outcomes for adults and children exposed to domestic violence, child physical abuse, or child sexual abuse. Williams co-directed the National Violence Against Women Prevention Research Center and continued her research on the long-term consequences and memories of child sexual abuse. Pattavina comes to WCW from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, where she collaborated with Williams and colleague Melissa S. Morabito, Ph.D., associate professor, on the national multi-site study of sexual assault case attrition through the criminal justice system that is described in the following interview. She brings an interest in applying advances in information and computer technology to the study of social problems. She has been invited to give presentations and workshops on the use of administrative data for policy analysis and received an award from The Boston Foundation for using data to drive community change.

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